No reverb, no compressors, no editing. On her latest album "Stripped" Macy Gray foregoes the usual trappings of modern music and just sings raw jazz numbers.
The setup was simple: Macy Gray, a band and one microphone inside of an old abandoned church.
"Literally you get a take or two and that's it. One shot," said Gray in a recent interview with Take Two's A Martinez."You don't realize until after that you can't go fix stuff. There's no compressors, there's no editing, there's no mix. Cause I'm sitting there riding the producer like do you think you could turn the drums down a little bit and he was like, 'What? You can't.' Cause there's just one mic. There's nothing you can do after you cut it. That's it."
The company responsible for Gray's foray into the jazz world is Chesky Records, who have done a whole binaural series of recordings. That's where they use one microphone, shaped like a human head, to capture stereo sound as audiences would hear it.
On the album, Gray sings jazz infused covers of classic songs like "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica, but also her own original songs, including "I Try."
"It's a good album to smoke a big joint to," she said.
During the taping of the interview, Gray also talked about her album coming out next year.
"It's the opposite of this one. It's super produced," she said. "I have this group of really awesome producers and the whole thing is I wanted to do something different. Come up with some kind of new sound that nobody's doing and that's always risky."
They're still working on the album and are unsure of a release date.
Below is the song "Just Like Jenny," written by Gray.
"Remember Forest Gump, Jenny?" said Gray. "It's just about like how she said, 'Build me a bird so I can fly far far away,' because she's trying to get rid of her situation. It's just about that thing where you want to get away."